Carols by Candlelight


The Provo Community Congregational United Church of Christ is excited to announce that Jon Schmidt of the Piano Guys will headline this year’s 45th Annual Carols by Candlelight for two nights, Sunday, December 10th, and Monday, December 11th. The annual event will also feature music by the Utah Valley Interfaith Choir and Utah Children’s Choir and will pay homage to the event founders, the late Monroe and Shirley Paxman and their family on this anniversary year. 

The beautiful celebration of the birth of Christ will be held at the historic Provo church’s newly refurbished sanctuary, located at 175 North University Avenue. Doors open at 6:30 p.m. with the event starting at 7pm.  Due to the popularity of the event, tickets will be required this year and can be reserved by visiting our ONLINE TICKET RESERVATION SITE November 17, 2023 through December 6, 2023.  Tickets are free with a $5.00 suggested donation per person.  

“This year is a special treat as we welcome Jon Schmidt to help continue the Paxmans’ legacy celebrating the true spirit of Christmas,” said David Lewis, artistic director and choir conductor, “The evening will be filled with a beautiful message, story, inspirational music, and candle lighting.” 

Schmidt was born to German Immigrant parents, who gave him the gift of an early education in music. Classical training fell on the fertile ground of Jon’s natural talents for music and hard work. Schmidt began composing as early as age 11. He started teaching piano lessons when most people get a driver’s license, and he began a successful solo career in his early twenties.

Schmidt worried about a career in music. He worried that his family would think that sheet music does not taste good with ranch dressing. So in college he studied English with plans to get an MBA. People kept pestering him over and over to play the piano for them, which led him to risk renting a large concert hall to present himself to the public. His audience loved him. He has never gone back to his English and business plans. His wife Michelle and their five children have never had to eat sheet music—even as a side dish.

Schmidt’s 20 year solo career has included many albums, performances, and awards. The Piano Guys entrapped Schmidt with their lair of beautiful pianos. Shortly thereafter, they all ran away together to create spectacular music and video content.

Under the direction of David Lewis, the Utah Valley Interfaith Choir began in 2014 and sings music of faith, coming together, holiday, patriotism, stage and screen, and anything with a positive and uplifting message. David Kime joined the Choir this season as assistant director. Choir members come from various backgrounds, experiences, and have a broad range of ages as well, but all share in the common goal to celebrate what we share in common. The Choir performs regularly throughout most of the year, including Provo Art Strolls, Carols by Candlelight, Easter Sunrise Community Service, local observances of National Day of Prayer, and worship services and other community events. 

The Utah Children’s Choir was founded in 1984 by its director Kay Asay. The choir has had a history of outstanding concerts, choral festivals, and community collaborations with other choirs and orchestras. The choir has sung in major concert halls including Carnegie Hall, the National Cathedral, Abravanel Hall, Riverside Church, The Cathedral of the Madeleine, Libby Gardner Hall, The Assembly Hall, and the Conference Center in Salt Lake City. The choir also sang in the Tuscany International Festival in Florence, Italy and in St. Peter’s Basilica in Rome in 1999. In 2009 the Utah Children’s Choir performed with the Tabernacle Choir at Temple Square in their Christmas Concert along with soloist Natalie Cole.

The Provo Community Church, as it is known locally, was founded over 130 years ago in 1891 by members from varying religious backgrounds coming together for a stronger presence in a growing Utah Valley community. The church has grown from a humble Sunday school class to a well-known, historic church and community center in downtown Provo. The church is currently raising funds to repair, restore, renovate, and expand this beautiful community cornerstone to help the church remain an open and affirming faith organization, to continue and grow as one of the only places for inspirational secular community gatherings in downtown Provo, and to increase community offerings such as these services.  Donations and more information about the church and campaign can be found at or